Concerts - 2023
Concerts for 2023
Sunday 19 March @ 4.00pm
Sunday 26 March @ 7.00pm
Sunday 2 April @ 11.15am
Casa delle Culture e della Musica, Velletri (Italy)
Clara, Robert & Co.: Clara Wieck, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Fryderyk Chopin
For the visit of S. E. Inigo Lambertini, Italian Ambassador to Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Monday 17 April @ 7pm
International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester (UK)
Clara Wieck, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann
For the visit of the Right Rev. Sam Corley, Bishop of Stockport
Sunday 30 April @ 12noon
St Elizabeth's Church, Ashley (UK)
Clara Wieck, Robert Schumann
Wednesday 2 March 2022 @ 7.30pm (UK time)
Clitheroe Concerts Society: Royal Grammar School, Clitheroe (BB7)
Music by R. Schumann, A Hovhaness, T. Pitfield, P. Jeanjean
With Einar Johannesson (clarinet)
Sunday 13 March 2022 @ 7.00pm (UK time)
Music by A. Vivaldi, F. Mendelssohn, A Hovhaness, D. Zipoli, B. Pescetti
Available on Youtube HERE
Friday 25 March 2022 @ 1.00pm (UK time)
Cross Street Chapel, Manchester (M1)
Music by M. Clementi, R. Schumann, F. Lizst, A. Hovhaness
Sunday 3 April 2022 @ p.00pm (UK time)
Chester Cathedral, Chester (CH1)
Franz Lizst: Via Crucis S504a
Friday 6 May 2022 @ time TBC
Didsbury Baptist Church, Manchester M20 6SX
Friday 2 April 2021 @ 6pm (UK time) – on Zoom
Franz Liszt: Via Crucis S504a
Saturday 17 April 2021 @ 6pm (UK time) – 1pm (US EST time) – on Zoom
Celebration of Hovhaness’ 110th birthday with solo performance.
There is also an article in the Armenian Mirror-Spectator about the celebration of Hovhaness' 110th birthday. Please click here to read it.
Sunday 25 April 2021 @ 6pm (UK time) – on Zoom
“Divine Notes for a Divine Poet: Dante between Classical Music and Heavy Metal” (part 1)
Part of the celebrations to mark 700 years since Dante Alighieri’s death.
Saturday 18 September 2021 @ 2pm (UK time)
St Paul's Church, Heaton Moor (SK4)
Celebration of 25 years of award-winning label Prima Facie
Thursday 23 September 2021 @ 6pm (UK time) – on Zoom
“Divine Notes for a Divine Poet: Dante between Classical Music and Heavy Metal” (part 2) Purgatorio
Part of the celebrations to mark 700 years since Dante Alighieri’s death.
Friday 26 November 2021 @ 9pm (Italian time) – on Zoom
“Dove l'arte creca l'oltre. Dialoghi aperti con gli artisti" (in Italian)
Part of the cultural associations' week organised by the Diocese of Milan.
March 2022 at Clitheroe Concerts Society, with Einar Johannesson
Clitheroe Concerts Society's fifth concert of the season was a programme of unfamiliar but exceptionally attractive music, played by two wonderfully talented musicians.
The first section of music featured an unjustly neglected British composer, Thomas Pitfield, who died as recently as 1999. He was also an engineer and a teacher of composition, as well as a calligrapher, woodworker, book binder and cabinet maker. The audience heard his “Sonatina” for clarinet and piano and also two solo piano pieces, “Menuet” and “Solemn Pavan”. Better know were Robert Schumann's “Three Romances” from 1849 and his earlier piano solo work, “Aufschwung”, written in 1837.
Continuing our world tour, the next music was by the prolific twentieth century American composer, Alan Hovhaness, with four pieces from his “Saturn” music for clarinet and piano, then the clarinet solo “Lament” followed by the dance from “Cougar Mountain”.
Finally, we visited France with music from the composer, Paul Jeanjean, based on the Neopolitan folk tune "Carnival of Venice", described in chairman Tony Cooper's programme notes as “a dazzling display with blistering arpeggios and leaps”.
Click PDF for Italian review
April 2023 at the Casa delle culture e della musica of Velletri (IT), solo piano recital
A fascinating concert in the series in Velletri....
Clara Wieck Schumann was very much in evidence in Alessandra’s programme. Starting with works written later in life during her years married to Robert Schumann.
She was finally united in marriage with Robert in 1840 and this beautiful Larghetto was written in 1845. It was played with mellifluous beauty and delicacy and is a Nocturne of exquisite beauty and simplicity. Including also an early work from before her marriage written in 1835/6 :’Danza delle streghe’ from four characteristic pieces op 5. A work of great effect that she would have used in her recitals as a child prodigy. Alessandra’s ten year old daughter on listening to her mother practice this piece was sure that she was playing wrong notes but this is all part of the salon type character of the work that Alessandra played with great relish!
A curiosity was the Variations on a Theme of Robert Schumann op 20. A work from around 1854 and one of the few of her own compositions that she would love to play in her recitals. It is based on the theme from Schumann’s ‘Bunte Blatter’ op 99 n 4. It was dedicated to her husband and was one of the very few compositions that she wrote before Robert was committed to an asylum where he died, leaving Clara to bring up alone their eight children when in order to survive financially she had to maintain her concert activity to the exclusion of composition.
Robert Schumann suffered from a mental disorder that first was manifested in 1833 as severe depression recurring several times alternating with phases of “exaltation” and increasingly also delusional ideas of being poisoned. After a suicide attempt in 1854, Schumann was admitted at his own request to a mental asylum in Endenich (now Bonn). Diagnosed with psychotic melancholia he died of pneumonia two years later at the age of 46, without recovering from his mental illness.
The Variations on a theme of Schumann op 20 were dedicated to her already sick husband and were completed just in time for his 43 birthday with a dedication :’For my dear husband a renewed and weak attempt to compose from your dear old Clara’. It was in fact completed just in time as in 1854 Robert attempted suicide and was admitted to an asylum. The theme is from Robert’s own ‘Bunte Blatter’ and it is the same theme that Brahms ,a close family friend ,was to use for his own Variations on a Theme of Schumann op 9.Seven variations from Clara where Brahms had written sixteen that he had dedicated to Clara.
There was a great fluidity to Clara’s variations which suited the sweet sound of this Erard piano of 1879. There was the chordal simplicity of the second alternating with the slow harmonically varied third. Alessandra found sumptuous beauty in the fourth with the theme in the tenor register surrounded by embellishments played so delicately.T here was great drama in the octave variation with the pompous chordal declamation of the theme. dissolved so beautifully into the delicately shadowed mellifluous theme. A delicate ending of arpeggiando chords was spread over the keyboard with great delicacy. It was fascinating to hear this rarely performed work especially from the delicate hands of Alessandra with the sweet tone of this Erard piano.
It might have been very similar to the one the greatest woman virtuoso of her day would have beguiled her audiences with in a intimate conversation with her beloved but prematurely departed Robert.
The rest of the programme was made up of Robert Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Chopin. A noble Brahms Rhapsody op 79 n.2 was played with the passion that Brahms had asked for, but also with the delicacy and calm of the central episode. Brahms had changed his indications several times as he obviously wanted the work to be played with passion but with orchestral sounds rather than pianistic virtuosity. It was exactly this that Alessandra managed to portray with her aristocratic sense of tempo. Alessandra had added a ‘sorbet’ of Mendelssohn between the passionate outpourings of Schumann’s own ‘In der Nacht’ and ‘Aufschwung’. Both were played with dynamic rhythmic energy but allowing the beautiful mellifluous contrasting episodes the time needed to relax before entering the fury of Robert’s passionate ‘Florestan’ temperament. It was the beautiful Mendelssohn Barcarolle op 30 that created the calm of the lapping Venetian waters that Robert Schumann had so admired as such a gift from a noble spirit.
Chopin’s beautifully gentle Ballade n. 3 op 47 closed her programme. It was played with searching beauty obviously influenced by Chopin’s own reference to the water maiden Ondine inspired by the poetry of Mickiewicz.